RICHLAND, WA - A project that has been in the works since 2001 received it's grand opening Monday. Several members of Congress and various government agencies were present to see the ribbon cutting to Hanford's new vitrification facility.
The purpose of the facility is to vitrify waste which means getting rid of low activity waste by storing it in glass containers. Although this isn't the first vitrification plant in the country this one is unique because it will be vitrifying more than one kind of waste.
"The vitrification plant is a one of a kind, first of it's kind facility," said Valerie McCain the Bechtel Project Director. "It is very complex and it has been in the making for many years."
No waste will be tested until 2021 as workers are currently monitoring water, electricity and air. The plan is to have the project meet the goal of being fully operational by 2023. Congressman Dan Newhouse who is an advocate for the cleanup of Hanford is confident that goal might be met sooner than 2023.
"We are making progress we are moving forward I think that we can realistically meet the deadlines and the goals of the cleanup project," said Newhouse.